Sign up for a free trial to IAM magazine including full archive access by clicking on the button below
You need to have cookies enabled in your browser to permanently hide this pop up.
Mikko Väänänen works in the astronomy department of Helsinki University. On top of that he is the managing partner of patent agency Suinno Oy. And as of around 4.00 pm Dutch time this afternoon he is a US dollar millionaire.
Väänänen, a delegate at the IP Business Congress 2008, sat and watched as a patent relating to electronic advertising he was selling at the Ocean Tomo European IP auction was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder for €975,000, or $1.53 million. Bids started at €400,000, but thanks to some skillful coaxing by auctioneer Charlie Ross competition between three bidders ensured that the patent beat its estimated value by close to €500,000.
The Väänänen patent was one of over 40 that went under the hammer at the Ocean Tomo sale, which raised a total of what I added up to be just over €7 million - a sum which comfortably beat the amount the Chicago-based firm generated at its previous European IP auction, held in London last year. The final figure is bound to go up further, first of all because OT will add their commission to the official amount and second because there will be some post-auction deals done. Several lots only just failed to meet their reserve prices.
For the record, the single biggest successful bid was €1.4 million, or $2.2 million. This was for lot 7, a patent covering a “method and apparatus for selectively augmenting retrieved information from a network resource”, whose estimated price was €1.3 million. In total I counted that 27 lots, or just over 50% of those on offer, were sold.
The auction was the final act in the two days of the IP Business Congress. The whole event was great fun and unbelievably exhausting. But to have brought together many of the most important movers and shakers at the intersection between IP and business was not only very satisfying, but also highly educational - a lot of us have learned an awful lot more about this hugely important area. The planning now begins for Year Two, about which I am sure I will have plenty more to report over the coming months. I am off out for a beer now. But will provide a fuller summary of the congress over the next few days.
Great work, Joff. Great conference.
Duncan BucknellDuncan Bucknell, Think IP Strategy on 27 Jun 2008